Breast cancer is the growth and multiplication of abnormal cells in the breast, which can spread to other organs causing damage if undetected early.
Like we discussed in previous article, Men are also at risk of breast cancer, though it is rare in men. The key to prevention of breast cancer is early detection through regular screening and breast self exams as explained in learn how to check for breast lumps in 5 simple steps.
Although the exact cause of breast cancer is not known, there are certain factors that have been identified to increase the risk for breast cancer, they include:
1. Using Oral contraceptive pills and hormone therapy: Some types of oral contraceptives have been found to increase the risk for certain types of breast cancers.
Women who use hormone replacement therapy for prolonged periods when they reach menopause are also at risk of breast cancer.
2. Older age: Your risk for breast cancer increases as you grow older.
3. Positive family history or Personal history of breast cancer: women who have first degree relatives (mother, siblings or offspring) with breast cancer are at a higher risk of breast cancer. Women who have had cancer in the past also stand the risk of getting it again.
4. Starting your periods at an early age: Women who start their periods before the age of 12 are at a slightly higher risk of breast cancer because they are exposed to estrogen hormones which cause breast cancer for longer than those who start at a later age.
5. Reaching menopause late: women who reach menopause at the age of 55 years or later are also at a higher risk for breast cancer because of longer exposure to estrogen hormone.
6. Obesity: Being obese can increase your risk for breast cancer.
7. Changes in certain inherited genes that can increase the risk for breast cancer: Abnormal changes (Mutations) in certain genes such as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 that are passed down from parent to offspring can increase the risk for breast cancer.
8. Taking Alcohol: Risk for breast cancer increases with increasing intake of alcohol.
9. Exposure to radiation at an early age: women who have had radiotherapy treatment to the chest or breast before the age of 30 are at higher risk of breast cancer.
10. Physical inactivity: Not being physically active can increase your risk for breast cancer